Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
OSU-CHS News > 2014

July 3, 2014

OSU-CHS announces two leadership appointments

Polak, left, and Stephens
Polak, left, and Stephens

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences recently promoted Eric Polak to vice president for administration and finance and Dr. Johnny Stephens to interim vice president for research and chief operating officer.

“After conducting a nationwide search, the selection committee determined Eric Polak is the best candidate to provide financial and administrative support management for our health sciences campus in Tulsa,” said OSU-CHS President Kayse Shrum. “His demonstrated leadership is highly valued as we continue our mission to provide physicians for rural and underserved Oklahoma and train biomedical and forensic scientists and health care administrators.”

In April 2013, Polak was appointed interim vice president for administration and finance. He filled the position of Dr. Jim Hess, who moved to a full-time faculty position and now serves as professor and head of the OSU School of Health Care Administration.

In his new role, Polak oversees financial and administrative support areas of OSU-CHS and OSU Physicians Clinics, which have multiple locations in the Tulsa area. He joined the leadership at OSU-CHS in 2004 and had previously served as director of administrative affairs and chief financial officer.

Stephens will be filling the interim position overseeing research at OSU-CHS. This role was previously held by Dr. Leigh Goodson, vice president for research and institutional advancement, who is the new president at Tulsa Community College.

“Dr. Stephens will provide steady, proven leadership during this time. His tenure at OSU-CHS has included oversight on a number of clinical trials and research,” said Shrum. “This knowledge and familiarity with the ongoing projects at the health sciences campus and in our clinic system will provide a seamless transition in research leadership.”

Stephens has been the assistant dean of sponsored programs at OSU-CHS, supervising clinical trials and the OSU Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine. He is also an associate professor of internal medicine and runs the OSU Physicians Internal Medicine – Specialty Services clinic.

Stephens has conducted case studies, clinical trials and other types of research, much of which has been published in numerous academic publications.

OSU-CHS will establish a selection committee to develop a timeline for the search to permanently fill the vice president for research and chief operating officer position.

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